What I Know

I have never claimed to be the brightest bulb on the string.  I have a horrible memory for details, am distracted easily, and have always found it difficult to concentrate on more than one thing at a time.  So it is very rare for me to form a hard and firm opinion about  current events, because I always have to take into consideration the very likely possibility that I am, if not exactly wrong, then at least a bit fuzzy in my facts.

That being said, there are several things that I believe I do know about the recent mass murders in Orlando.  I know that there was a tragic and senseless loss of many lives that night, and that the friends and family of the victims are suffering greatly.  I know that losing a loved one to violence is something that leaves a permanent scar on the soul and forever alters the way a person looks at the world.  I know that even thinking about what happened for too long leaves most of us feeling sad, helpless and frustrated, no matter where we live.

I know that there are many theories about exactly why this happened, and that most people will choose to believe the theory that best suits their own world view.  I know that there will be a slew of posts and comments about what caused this incident and what can prevent it  from happening again, with the authors of them hoping that this will, at last, bring others around to their point of view.  And I know that very few people will change their minds about much of anything, no matter how well-written, extensively documented, or passionate the arguments happen to be.  People like their own opinions best.

I don’t know exactly why the shooter chose his targets, although at this point it seems most likely that it was their sexual orientation.  I do know that in order for him to so callously end their lives, he could no longer recognize his victims as fellow human beings, worthy of respect, consideration, and most of all, life.  He had to pretend that because he saw them as different from himself, that somehow meant they were also less human than him.  I believe that if he didn’t think that way, he couldn’t have done what he did.

Mostly, I know that I never want to think the way this murderer thought.  I never want to think that because someone comes from another country or culture, belongs to a different religion, follows a different political ideology, or has a different sexual orientation, that person is somehow less of a person than me.  Because horrible things happen when we forget that no matter how different we may seem to be, we’re really all just people, fellow humans struggling to find our way in a confusing world.

That much I know.

37 thoughts on “What I Know

  1. As always, you present a delicate topic in a sensitive and caring way. We are all, in different ways, a part of making this world a better place to live. Respect and understanding seem such an easy choice to make. But the world has struggled with and seems to be losing the battle of acceptance since well before any of us were even a thought. Sometimes the simplest choices are difficult for the most illogical reasons. All we can do is our part. One person at a time. One example at a time. Great post.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Oh, George, thank you of reminding me why I value your opinion so much! I get so tired of people who present easy and simplistic answers to the world’s complicated problems, especially the problems that seem to be a direct result of human nature. So all we are left with is ourselves: we can treat others the way we want to be treated, and try to change things, one person at a time and one example at a time, just as you said. Thank you for your (continued, and always appreciated) support!

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  2. Well-balanced, and insightful. As ever, the media and politicians will reduce this matter to simplistic platitudes. The causes behind such actions are always complex, and cannot be explained exclusively as either Jihadism, or psychopathy, or hatred, or indoctrination.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I agree with you, Ann. People may well just use this incident as they use most others as a way of reinforcing their own opinions. The most important thing to resist after something like this is the urge to fear “the other.” People have to come together, not allow themselves to be divided.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Sadly, looking at comments and Facebook posts, fear of “the other” was what I saw most, and it made me so sad. Somehow, we have gotten to a place where we just have no use for people who we think are different from us. But I really do believe that the things that unite us are so much stronger, and more important, than the things that divide us, and that recognizing that is key. We don’t have to be identical to unite for the common good, I think. Thanks for your comment!

      Liked by 1 person

  4. It is indeed difficult to understand the entire truth about a person. It’s not something you can reduce to sound bites, which is how so many people want their information.

    But ultimately, trying to understand the whole person, or at least those parts they feel comfortable sharing with the world, is effort well spent. We’re all people, and we need to see each other as such, both the good and the bad.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. An excellent post! Thank you for adding your voice of reason to this complicated horror. Yes, it is hard to write about but we cannot ignore it. The voices of some in politics have divided us even more but we are all in this together. Your last paragraph is very powerful!! Peace and love to you!

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Nicely written! Lord knows it’s been a rough few days for Orland, Florida. Out of the tragedy came people pulling together to help. Wrapped around lines at blood donations centers. The largest monetary contribution ever to a Go Fund Me account for those injured and the family members of those that passed. Flags still flying at half mast. Numerous restaurants continuing to offer free meals to the first responders as well as the medical personnel who cared for the victims that awful night. Makes one proud to see everyone pulling together to try to get through this tragedy.

    Liked by 2 people

    • I can’t imagine how hard it has been. But it’s nice to know how everyone is pulling together to help! Sometimes, something good can come out of even the most horrific tragedies. It doesn’t take away the grief, but it does give hope for the future. Thanks for sharing!

      Liked by 1 person

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